02.08.10

Tongariro Alpine Crossing – Conquering Mt Doom

Posted in Landscape, Nature, People, Travel at 4:52 pm by Warren Williams

My friends and I decided we needed a larger challenge to conquer, than just a small Waitakere bush walk. We’d been talking about re walking the great Tongariro Crossing over the past couple of summers, but only just managed to put into action. Road trip ahead, as we tested Pete’s new wagon. We bunked down in National Park for two nights, whilst spending much of the time trekking over the mountains of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom), and Ruapehu.

Lake Taupo
Lake Taupo from the southern end

Tongariro from car
First sight of Tongariro coming from Taupo and Turangi

Chateau Ruapehu
Bayview Chateau Tongariro (nestled on Mt Ruapehu)

Chateau Golf course
Bayview Chateau Golf Course – New Zealand’s highest course


Road tripping with Mark, who previously ascended Cradle Mountain, Tasmania with me


Pete’s new car – too bad about the motor?


From one of the stream crossings driving up Mt Ruapehu

Driving Mt Ruapehu
Zooming upwards on Mt Ruapehu – North Island’s tallest mountain and volcano, at 2,797 metres

We parked late in the evening at the Bruce carpark, and found the place deserted. Free roam of the mountain! We ventured up around 1km up the rocky slopes, as the temperature quickly dropped.

Ascending Mt Ruapehu
Mark, Warren, Kat & Pete against the barren rock of Ruapehu

Strangely, the clouds around us descended beyond our elevation, revealing the glowing sunset across the west. Was quite amazing to witness a sunset with a cloud base lower down.


Amazing light being filtered around Ruapehu


Defining ridge lines on Ruapehu


Various volcanic rocks and high altitude plants

The following morning, we had to wake at the crack of dawn to catch the shuttle to the start of the great Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Witnessing an amazing sunrise across all three mountains certainly made it worthwhile.

Mt Doom Sunrise Lord of the Rings
Sunrise over Mt Doom

Sunrise over National Park
Sunrise from National Park / SH47 intersection

Amazing New Zealand Scenery
Amazing New Zealand Beauty

Arriving at the Mangatepopo carpark, we were now ready to tackle the 19.4km long mountain crossing.


First steps along the 19.4km long Tongariro Crossing


The intital track starts deceptively easy!


Great view of Mt Ngauruhoe

Tongariro Crossing Boardwalk
The final 1km stretch leading to the saddle, connecting Tongariro and Ngauruhoe.
This section was the hardest, with a steep incline, and noticeable difference in breathing

Mt Doom and tussock grass

The camera was put away for the next 45min as we climbed the Mangatepopo Saddle


Success!


Following the Saddle, we drop again, in the enormous South Crater of Tongariro, before climbing one of the ridges offering great views


Sheer cliffs, along the ridge


Climbing out of the South Crater, with cloud cover blocking one side of the mountainside


Reaching the Tongariro Summit, at 1,967metres


From Tongariro summit, peering into South Crater

Mt Tongariro 360 degree Panorama
360 degree panoramic from the additional Tongariro Summit walk


View looking down to the Emerald Lakes and Red Crater


View down the fun scree slope, with Blue Lake in the backdrop (perfect place to moon jump)

Emerald Lakes - Tongariro
One of the Emerald Lakes, caused from leaching minerals

Emerald Lakes, Tongariro


Tongariro Emerald Lakes


Further views of the Emerald Lakes, with steam rising from the ridge


Low cloud cover at the Ketetahi Hut (well, over 1,400m isn’t exactly low!)


With some much needed Red Bull


And away with the camera it was, as the rain came down for our last hours walk downhill.


Dusk over Mt Ruapehu and the winding highway

The following morning we made the short walk to to the lovely Lake Rotopounamu – an easy walk, however we were all suffering from fatigue and muscle pains after a full day of walking the previous day.

Lake Rotopounamu
Lake Rotopounamu


Mark, chilled out

The drive home was non eventful, although we did try our luck at the Hole in One challenge on Lake Taupo. Out of 25 balls, I managed to land 6 very close to the hole on the floating pontoon, 102metres out.

02.02.10

West Coast Beauty

Posted in Landscape, People at 12:00 pm by Warren Williams

Spent much of the past week visiting several beaches, including taking an English friend to the tranquility of Whatipu near the mouth of the Manukau Harbour. Here’s just a snippet from the recent beach adventures:

Whatipu Lookout
Whatipu Beauty – Short walk from the gravel road

Whatipu Reflections
Whatipu Stream


Kat and Shirley shooting spiders in the gorse

Spent the following few days at Kat’s farm overlooking the hills of Bethells and Waitakere.


Sunset from the farm


More views over the hundreds of acres towards Bethells Beach


Ziggy on guard by the pool, amongst amazing lighting


Further rich skies over the farm and one of the houses with shearing shed

The following evening, Kat and I decided to head down to Bethells Beach, and capture some fun portraits before a couple of sunset landscapes.

Katrina Elton

Bethells Beach Model

Bethells Beach Boxer

01.26.10

Shaila & Rajiv’s Post Wedding Fun

Posted in People, Wedding at 10:00 pm by Warren Williams

After being unable to shoot Shaila & Rajiv’s recent wedding, due to being in London for much of the past year, I was privileged enough to shoot some portraits of their families. The location was the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial near Mission Bay, overlooking the city and harbour. Shaila was beautifully adorned in her colourful sari, along with henna scribed over her hands and feet. Katrina was also along for some awesome creative shots herself, and occasionally lending her skill of holding the light reflector to make use of the golden evening light.


Shaila applying the final touches to her mum

Auckland Wedding


Shaila with her brother and sister


Rajiv with his sister Suhani

Rangitoto Wedding
Overlooking the Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto Island

Katrina Elton Photographer
Katrina having some fun between shooting


Suhani


Rajiv’s mum – Saroj


Shaila’s younger sister, Shainal


Shaila’s lovely earring which was momentarily lost


Golden light at Okahu Bay

Newlywed beach

Silhouetted beach wedding

Auckland Wedding Photographer
Orakei Wharf for sunset

Auckland Indian Wedding Photographer

Dancing Wedding Shoot
Swaying down Orakei Wharf

Wedding Ring Auckland Wedding Photographer
Macro shot by Katrina

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Posted in Landscape, Nature, People at 12:00 pm by Warren Williams

On the morning of a scheduled evening shoot, Kat and I decided to walk down to the beautiful falls of Mokoroa. Located just a 20min stroll from the end of Kat’s road, the recently upgraded track offers a brilliant sight into some rarely touched Waitakere Ranges beauty. Being mid summer, the water flow was a little low, but will increase as winter approaches, and no doubt capture some more shots.

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere
View from down below

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere
Houheria Stream and waterfall

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere
Kat holding a stick insect

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere
View from lookout

Mokoroa Falls, Waitakere

01.25.10

Makeup Portfolio Shoot – Sam Steel

Posted in Architecture, People at 4:30 pm by Warren Williams

Kat was chosen by one of her fellow makeup artists, Sam Steel, to shoot his portfolio amongst the backdrop of urban Auckland. Whilst Kat was directing the models, I was taking some candids, whilst also making good use of the light reflector.


Kat in action, down by Fort Street

Auckland Head Shot
Contrasting light

Model Queen Street Auckland
Rush hour on the busy Queen St/Customs St intersection

Male Model Auckland
Waiting his turn

Striking a pose
Making use of colour

Model Auckland
In the jungle on Queen St

Sam Steel NZ
Sam Steel in action

Model Auckland
Stealing a Vespa for a prop

Model Queen Street Auckland

Model Queen Street Auckland

Model Queen Street Auckland
Trapped

Model Queen Street Auckland

Quest Apartments, Auckland City
180° panoramic from roof of Quest Apartments, Auckland

01.18.10

Wonderful Waters of Whangarei Falls & Uretiti

Posted in Landscape, Nature, People at 4:00 pm by Warren Williams

Driving back from Kaikohe to Auckland, we decided to detour slightly to the Whangarei Falls for lunch, followed by an afternoon swim at Uretiti.

Whangarei Falls, New Zealand

Whangarei Falls, New Zealand

Warren Williams
Self portrait, within a wave at Uretiti Beach


Kat after our swim

Uretiti, New Zealand
Warren & Kat, shot by younger sister Candace

Uretiti, New Zealand

Uretiti, New Zealand

Uretiti, New Zealand

Uretiti, New Zealand

01.17.10

Tane Mahuta – Lord of the Forest

Posted in Animals, Nature, People at 7:15 pm by Warren Williams

Standing an impressive 51 metres tall, Tane Mahuta is New Zealand’s largest known Kauri. The trunk girth is even more impressive at 13.77m, with its estimated age being somewhere between 1,200 to 2,500 years old. Tane Mahuta is just one of the many large Kauri’s around the Waipoua forest, north of Dargaville. We made a little road trip with Katrina, youngest sister Candace, cousin Nicole, and her new daughter, Kayleigh.

Tane Mahuta, Largest Kauri in New Zealand
Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest)


Roof structure, amongst the dense NZ vegetation


Kayleigh


Nicole, Candace & Katrina, with Kayleigh


Fern frond

Driving back to Kaikohe, I shot a few photos of the family dog and Kayleigh with Nicole and Katrina


Katrina

01.09.10

Introducing Katrina – Kiwi Farm Girl

Posted in General, Nature, People, Wedding at 5:15 pm by Warren Williams

Arriving back into New Zealand, first agenda was to catch up with friends and family. During my time away in London, I had also been discussing future business plans with photographer, and make up artist, Katrina. I’ll also formally introduce her now as my girlfriend and business partner. She’s currently working for a top photography studio, doing mostly black and white portrait shoots, and also assisting award winning photographer, Brett Lees from Unique Visions on some wedding shoots. We spent the afternoon at her farm near Bethells Beach, overlooking the rolling Waitakere hills landscape.

Katrina Elton


Feeding Bailey, one of the horses on the farm


Ziggy, their Shetland Sheepdog


Katrina amongst the daisies in the bottom paddock

Katrina Elton


With one of the Jersey cows

It is now our goal, to work together using her great perspective of capturing moments and her lighting ability, to complement my own creative style of photography. In addition to her offering bridal makeup also. Feel free to contact us via my website.

01.05.10

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Posted in Animals, Landscape, Nature, People, Travel at 4:00 pm by Warren Williams

The final day of an amazing trip through Mumbai and Goa had arrived, so after a little research, decided to take Angus to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in northern Mumbai. It is the largest urban park in the world, encompassing 104 km2. It is said to be the lungs of Mumbai, as it purifies much of the air polluition. Within the park you can catch a bus to see lions and leopards, whilst also venturing 6km along the park to the amazing Kanheri Caves. These 109 caves were built over 2,100 years ago, by Buddhist monks, into the solid hard basalt rock.

I’ve included more photos than usual in this last post from my Indian travels of 2009 & 2010. An amazing trip, that I couldn’t have done without the hospitality of my great friend Angus and his family. Thank you! 🙂


Lioness in the park

Rhesus Macaque Monkey

Rhesus Macaque Monkey


Baby Rhesus Macaque Monkey

School children Kanheri Caves, India

Kanheri Caves, Mumbai, India


Large caves of Kanheri

Kanheri Caves, Mumbai, India

Kanheri Caves sculptures

Kanheri Caves, Mumbai, India


Angus standing against the 7m tall Buddhist statue


Large Chaitya with great Stupa

Kanheri Caves, Mumbai, India
Low light filtering behind the Stupa


Textured Basalt floor


Walkway to more caves on the hill

Kanheri Caves movie
More caves near the top, almost like the set of a movie


View in opposite direction showing the elevation (hard work in the Mumbai heat!)


First attempt at writing with a torch


Angus taking a break in one of the cool caves

Friendly SIS Security India
Our friendly SIS security”guide”


Warren atop the caves and stairs of Kanheri


Angus walking back down the hill from the 109 caves


Spot the monkey?

Deer in Mumbai

Goat incredible balance
Goat with incredible balance, walking on a branch!


Overflowing water tank


Last shot from India

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01.04.10

Return to Mumbai

Posted in People, Travel at 7:30 pm by Warren Williams

I really thought nothing could beat the bus ride from Mumbai to Goa. Well I was wrong, with the return trip even more unbearable! I could have almost covered the length of New Zealand in the same duration of this trip. Alas, I was happy to finally make it, knowing only had another couple of days in Mumbai before being reunited with friends and family in Melbourne and Auckland.

Carpark Mumbai
Carpark around the back of our hotel in Malad West (not sure I’d park there?!)

Mumbai Sunset

Overloaded bus Mumbai India


Common non-AC taxi

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01.02.10

Morjim Birds

Posted in Birds, People, Travel at 8:30 pm by Warren Williams

Our last day in Goa was spent in Morjim after the recommendation from Darryl Baptista, which is home to many thousands of birds. It was also the least visited by other people, which was great news for us! I have noticed more recently, several news articles about the darker side of Morjim. Fortunately we never encountered any trouble during our three weeks in Goa, and would recommend anyone to FLY in and enjoy the cheap food, drinks and sun.

Morjim Local Boy
Local boy walking along the sandy banks


Morjim Fishing Boat

Morjim Birds
Thousands of birds in Morjim

Morjim Boats Lined up
Morjim boats lined up

Low Tide Morjim Birds

Morjim Birds Sunset

Goa Hawk
Hawk on the lookout for smaller seabirds

India Football

Hermit Crab Escape
Hermit Crab escaping

Morjim Swimming


Really great water, much better than Calangute area


Angus in the crisp water

Morjim Sunset Birds Silhouette
Thousands of birds flying north across the setting sun

Morjim Sunset

Morjim Red Skies, Goa

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01.01.10

Baga Beach New Years Day

Posted in Animals, Landscape, People at 9:56 pm by Warren Williams

With a slow start to the day, spent at the apartment pool, and playing some table tennis, Angus invited his old friend Martina over for dinner at Baga Beach. After watching the sunset, and fishermen emptying their catch, we ran back to Brittos restaurant – However a powercut and lack of communication put an end to that. We ended up catching a rickshaw back to Calangute and eating some good food at Kamats.


Martina

Baga Beach Nun

Baga Fishermen, Goa
A lonely fish

Young children fishing
The entire family helping out with the catch

Fish Basket Goa

Fish 85L

Fisherman Sunset


Northern end of beach away from the crowds


Looking back to the beach huts and restaurants including Brittos

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12.31.09

Calangute Beach New Years Eve

Posted in Astro, Landscape, People, Travel at 11:59 pm by Warren Williams

After spending a week around the beautiful island of Jua, enjoying the villages of Santo Estevam and Marcela on the mainland, we decided it was time to venture back to the beachside apartment for New Years celebrations. Stocking up on food supplies from the Mapusa market, Angus and I were preparing ourselves for the final few days in Goa! Time sure has flown.

Green & red Tomatoes

Green Beans

Mutton ready for the Slaughter
Mutton ready for the chop

Mapusa Market Seller
Mapusa Market Seller – All to keen for a photo

Mapusa Banana Market

Calangute Goa fisherman

Calangute Beach people

Calangute Jetski

Final Sunset of 2009 India
Final sunset of 2009, from Calangute, Goa, India

Angus 2009
Angus farewelling 2009

2009 Dusk

Blue Moon December 2009
Once in a blue moon… two full months within one calendar month

On the strike of midnight, Calangute beach and all the adjoining beaches (Candolim, Sinquerim and Baga), brightly lit up with thousands of fireworks and bonfires to welcome in the Year of 2010. Making this an even more special New Years, a partial lunar eclispe occurred only a few minutes later.

Lunar Eclipse Goa 2009 2010
Lunar Eclipse of 2009 / 2010

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12.27.09

White Sands of Colva and Palolem

Posted in Landscape, People, Travel at 10:00 pm by Warren Williams

After Christmas celebrations, we planned a trip to the beauty of Colva and Palolem beaches. Unfortunately the sun wasn’t shining as strongly as before, and both beaches were very crowded. After waiting around in the evening until sunset, it simply didn’t come! Driving the 4×4 home after dark was certainly a new experience too – driving for almost two hours from the furthest reaches of Goa.

Colva Parasailing
Colva Parasailing

The highlight of the day, was seeing Angus’ nephew, Matthew, experience the sea and sand.


Raju (friend of family from Marcela, Goa) & Matthew

Palolem Sunset Goa
Sun disappearing amongst the clouds

Beach shacks Palolem
Beach shacks Palolem

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12.25.09

Christmas in Sant Estevam

Posted in General, People at 9:21 pm by Warren Williams

After our beach excursions, Angus and I headed back to his family home in Santo Estevam (St Stephen’s) to experience Christmas. We attended a Christmas service in the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa, whilst witnessing the village of Santo Estevam transforming with celebrations, lights and many nativity scenes.

Christmas Lights

Neighbours in Sant Estevam, Goa
Neighbours

Family Sant Estevam
Friendly family in the village

Boxing Day was spent chilled in the village, and eating several feasts 😉

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